Clayburn Middle School student Gabby Waddell raised $5,000 and shaved her head during the opening ceremonies for the Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley event earlier today (Thursday). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Clayburn Middle School student Gabby Waddell raised $5,000 and shaved her head during the opening ceremonies for the Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley event earlier today (Thursday). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

VIDEO: Cops for Cancer pedals through Abbotsford

Annual fundraising event has already collected $500,000

The Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley officially hit the road yesterday (Thursday) at Abbotsford Senior Secondary School.

The annual event sees local law enforcement and emergency services personnel ride 900 kilometres over the next nine days.

Abbotsford officers Const. Jody Thomas, Const. Robyn Lamarche, Const. Renae Williams and Const. Neil Cole are pounding the pavement to represent the Abbotsford Police Department this year, and they are joined by Const. John Davidson’s sister Janie Robinson, who travelled all the way from the United Kingdom to ride in his honour.

The group arrived at the school around 9:30 a.m., and entered the front doors of the building to cheers from dozens of students who warmly welcomed them.

Riders then made their way to the gym for the official opening ceremonies, which included a performance from Abbotsford Senior Secondary drumline and words of encouragement from the Abbotsford School District’s Shirley Wilson, Mayor Henry Braun, APD chief Bob Rich, Ian Thomas from Coast Capital Savings and representatives from the Canadian Cancer Society.

ASSS students also presented the tour with a $1,000 cheque, which was raised from students at the school.

The main event of the opening ceremonies involved Clayburn Middle School student Gabby Waddell and a pair of scissors.

Motivated by the memory of her grandfather who passed away from cancer, Waddell partnered with Thomas to help raise $5,000 for the tour and if she accomplished that she would shave her head. She managed to reach her goal earlier this week and shaved her head in front of cheering riders and students.

The Tour de Valley has already raised over $500,000 this year, and riders next head northeast from Langley to Boston Bar, then southwest to Tsawwassen and finish in White Rock.

For more on the event, visit www.abbypd.ca/cops-for-cancer.

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